In our five years of full-time residence in Rocky Point, we have had numerous reasons to seek local medical care – a badly lacerated hand, chronic bronchitis, deadly insect bite and earache to name a few.

Although procedures and standard practices observed north of the border are sometimes skipped, we have received top-notch care every time at San José Clinic on Benito Juarez and at the office of a local physician.

Among those procedures overlooked here is having to fill out five pages of questions about your medical history and that of your close relatives, history of allergies, surgeries, and current medications. The local doctor is likely to ask you if you have any allergies, but the language barrier can be a problem.

It’s an hour and a half to Ajo’s Desert Senita Clinic, and the nearest physician who accepts Medicare, so a Peñasco clinic could be crucial to your survival. To assure that you get the best care possible, you need to play your part.

Make up a card or note in your phone that lists all the medicines and supplements you take on a regular basis. List any allergies or sensitivities to medicines or foods. Identify any medical procedures or conditions that could be related to your condition. Update that information after any significant change. It will be extremely valuable in an emergency situation.

If you are just feeling under the weather and want the doctors to examine you, take a few minutes to type your symptoms and concerns into the Google Translator, date it and print out the information. Although many of the doctors and their staff speak some English, interpretation can be difficult when you are relying on “Spanglish” to communicate.

It is also recommended that you create your own Rocky Point medical file. Put those printed sheets you shared with the doctor and the prescriptions he gives you into a file folder. This will help the doctor during future visits, and it will give you a record of which medications were effective for various symptoms.

Take that file with you when you return to see physicians in the U.S., so they have a complete picture of your recent issues and treatments.

Good medical care is readily available here, 24/7, but your best results will depend on your ability to communicate effectively with the medical staff. Planning ahead can make a world of difference.

As we say in Mexico, “Salud!” To your health!

Your Google Translator can help you explain your symptoms and medical history when you have to visit a clinic in Mexico. A personal file of treatments can be even more helpful. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash